Hispanics are not enemies of Anglos

Published 8:35 am Wednesday, July 15, 2009

The job was to replant trees on the side of a mountain stripped bare by loggers. Each man was given a heavy leather bag filled with tree saplings and a short-handled pickax. The trick was to dig a hole, reach back and withdraw a tree sapling while using the same pickax to dig in to keep from falling to injury or death. Lunch had to be eaten while up on the mountain regardless of the excruciating heat radiating off of the rocks or drenching rain.

The only men willing to take on the job were Mexicans. Others tried but seldom lasted out the day much less a week. Conditioned by centuries of hard labor, poor pay and abuse by the ruling classes have made Mexicans tenacious and tough. No matter what the work, be it filthy, tedious or dangerous to life and limb, the Mexican workers are up to it — they have to be. No one has ever accused them of being lazy. Love for their families keeps them motivated. Yet, large numbers of these people are being thrown into America’s empty prisons thus creating “jobs” for small towns like Albert Lea.

Are these prisoners legal or illegal aliens? Are they members from families torn apart by raids? No one knows for sure. Legal aid is practically nonexistent and the rights of these prisoners are constantly jeopardized.

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The background of this dilemma is familiar to us all. Aided by our government, corporations demanded the import of cheap labor to increase their profits and break unions. Back in 1965 when there were plenty of jobs, this went unnoticed. It wasn’t until the same corporations (looking for even cheaper labor) sent our jobs overseas that Americans became alarmed. The Mexicans have taken the brunt ever since.

Yet, if not a single Mexican ever entered this country, we would still be in the same economic predicament. Financial and corporate leaders that caused this disaster demanded and received our tax money to keep from going under. These same corrupt groups, however, are currently spending billions to keep us from having health care, or any plan to prevent global warming or unionization through Card Check (a more simplified method of becoming a union member). Obama was told by CEOs that they would be willing to pay higher taxes but demanded he stop Card Check. Their fear is of Americans banding together to form a power of their own (perhaps, even a voice in Washington).

The next time you view a demonstration for any of these important causes on TV, notice how many of the demonstrators are Mexican/Latinos. They take to the streets when many of us should — but do not. I admire this ancient race of people who try hard to keep hope alive. Don’t allow Paul Westrum to paint them with his ridicules “Communist-influenced” brush or scream at them to, “go home!” as he advises. We must come together to talk because we have common enemies as well as enormous problems.

Mary Milliron